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Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013

  

DICE Pauses All Future Projects for BF4 Repairs

DICE is "not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4," an EA representative told IGN when asked about ongoing issues with the shooter sequel. "We know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game – it is absolutely our #1 priority. The team at DICE is working non-stop to update the game." They say the China Rising expansion was "already in the final stages of development by the time issues began with Battlefield 4," in explaining the expansion's release. "We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain," EA says. "We will not stop until this is right."

Ships Ahoy - Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent's Curse: Episode One

Revolution Software announces the release of Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent's Curse: Episode One for Windows, OS X, and Linux, kicking off the latest and "most ambitious" installment in their adventure series. This is available on GOG.com and Steam for 20% off the full price, which also includes the concluding episode, which is due "early next year." Here's word:

The adventure game sees the series return to point and click for the first time since Broken Sword 2 – to the genre in which Revolution has truly excelled. Broken Sword 5 - The Serpent’s Curse has reunited key members from the original Broken Sword team, with layout artists from studios such as Disney, Aardman, and Universal who have created sumptuous, classically drawn backgrounds. The rich, lavish HD art evolves the art-style so loved in the previous Broken Sword games.

When a mysterious painting is stolen during an armed raid on a Paris gallery, George Stobbart and Nico Collard are thrown, seemingly by chance, into the investigation together. From Paris to London and beyond, the trail becomes a race against time as dark forces from Europe's turbulent past are woken from their slumber. Broken Sword characters old and new are encountered—but who can George and Nico trust? The journey they are on reveals a conspiracy as old as the written word, whose ancient heresies will cause innocent blood to spill once more...

“This has been a labor of love not just for us here at Revolution but the entire Broken Sword community too,” says Charles Cecil, founder, Revolution Software. “We have been privileged to be able to make the game we’ve wanted to thanks to the generous support of our Kickstarter supporters, who really have given us the freedom to take the series to new heights.

Steamships Ahoy - Darkout

Darkout is now available on Steam, where the side-scrolling action game is 15% off its regular price for the next week. Here's the pitch:

Crashed and alone on a world mankind tried to leave behind, Darkout challenges players to survive on Illuna, in harsh, procedurally generated biomes, utilizing the game’s sandbox features to build shelters, craft weapons, and research new technologies.

You are not alone. Light-sensitive creatures prowling the landscapes become most active at night and in a world shrouded by clouds the security of day will never come, instead, twilight periods allow players minor security to explore, rebuild, and gather resources.

Darkout’s deep history manifests itself through logs left behind by others, some recent, while others hearken back to long-extinct natives of Illuna, offering glimpses into what events led up to the pandemonium that now persists.

How will you survive?

100 More Steam Greenlights

A Steam Community Group Announcement reveals 100 more games have been approved by the now more egalitarian Steam Greenlight system. This page has the entire list of new approvals, and word is: "As with past batches, these titles will be released independently in the weeks or months ahead, as they complete development and integrate any Steamworks features they are interested in utilizing."

On Sale

  • Guacamelee! Gold Edition + Mutant Blobs Attack on GOG.com. Save 50-60%.
  • Mars: War Logs on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Simulation Bundle on Bundle Stars.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Unreal Engine 4 Trailer

Epic offers this new "Inside Unreal" trailer with part two of their look at the visual effects in the Unreal Engine 4. They say: "Epic's Tim Elek and Zak Parrish talk about implementing advanced VFX such as realistic water effects, lit translucency, GPU particle simulation and collision and more in the Unreal Engine 4 Infiltrator real-time demonstration." Continue here to read the full story.

Hawken Patched; Winter Event Launches

The Hawken website has word that Operation Frostburn is underway in the mech shooter, and their annual winter event will run through the beginning of next month. This is accompanied by the release of the latest patch for the game, which updates the game to version 0.9.6.5 and adds a new map called Wreckage. You can read all about the new update here and there's also a recent trailer showing off the new map. Continue here to read the full story.

Stratego Games Planned

Matrix Games announces its Slitherine Group has struck a deal to create videogames based on Stratego, the strategy board-game. There are few concrete details for now, but they say the new series is already in development with The Lordz Games Studio targeting a release "on all major platforms" in 2015. "This is a very important new collaboration for Slitherine," said JD McNeil, Chairman of the Slitherine Group. "We continually strive to reach new players with fresh and innovative titles, both old and new, to introduce them to this great hobby of strategy and wargames. Our genre is growing exponentially and as market leaders of this sector, we feel it is vitally important that we continue to improve and further expand our reach. The Stratego brand is a wonderful opportunity to do this and many players will welcome such a recognizable brand name, to persuade them to have a go."

Second Arma III Campaign Episode Next Month

Bohemia Interactive announces a January 21st release date for the second campaign episode for Arma III, their military shooter sequel, noting this will be preceded by the release of some of the episode's new goodies one week from today in an automatic Steam update. They say:

Bohemia Interactive today announced the release date of the second campaign episode for Arma 3. Picking up from where the first episode left off, the campaign is set to continue with the release of the ‘Adapt’ episode on Tuesday January 21st, 2014.

The official campaign for Arma 3, named ‘The East Wind’, unfolds over three episodes: 'Survive', 'Adapt', 'Win'. In the first episode, players were introduced to Ben Kerry, a regular soldier who’s part of a NATO-peacekeeping mission in the Mediterranean. After a botched withdrawal trapped Kerry’s unit on the island of Stratis, in the midst of a flashpoint, they attempt an escape to the neighboring island of Altis.

"While the first part of the campaign focused on the basics of infantry combat, this second ‘Adapt’ episode plays with the other cool features of Arma 3’s sandbox”, said Jaroslav Kasny, Playable Content Lead for Arma 3. "Players will find more open and unorthodox scenarios, and with the help of guerrilla warfare, set out to defeat a much stronger enemy."

Before the upcoming holidays, ahead of the second episode’s launch, Bohemia Interactive will already be releasing the episode’s new sandbox content. Included in this (free) package are 3 additional vehicles for the Altis Armed Forces faction. The Wy-55 Hellcat helicopter has previously seen action with the British Armed Forces, and now provides a maneuverable and armed aerial reconnaissance platform for the AAF. The FV-720 Mora is a tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle best employed in combined arms warfare. Last but not certainly least, we find the fully new MBT-52 tank, brought in to the round out the faction's war fighting options.

The vehicles, plus other new content such as black versions of the MX rifle family, infra-red grenades and the LRPS sniper scope, will be made available on Wednesday December 11th via an automatic update on Steam.

More Battlefield 4 Issues

A post from EA Support admits that yesterday's launch of the China Rising expansion for Premium Members of Battlefield 4 has introduced additional gameplay issues to the military shooter sequel (thanks Eurogamer). Also, a tweet by DICE's Mikael Hedberg (thanks reddit) admits the patch for the Windows edition that accompanied the expansion only partially addressed the one shot kill bug as intended, as half the problem is still waiting on fix. He says: "@barklassiebark there's another related issue. It's not quite the OHK, but it's related to how you die and may display as a OHK," later adding: "@barklassiebark it looks similar from the target's point of view. we are testing a fix." Here's the post from EA Help:

While exploring new battlegrounds in the Battlefield 4 expansion, China Rising, you may run into an occasional hiccup, issue, glitch, or problem that could interrupt or prohibit your gameplay.

Below, find all the gameplay affecting issues we’re currently aware of and tracking, as well as any workarounds or troubleshooting for issues we may have confirmed or discovered:
Be sure to check the Battlefield 4 base-game troubleshooting information for any issues as well.

The following are issues you may run in to when playing Battlefield 4 China Rising:

Windows/Xbox Convergence Coming?

ZDNet has a speculative article based on tips from anonymous contacts talking about Microsoft's future plans to converge the Windows desktop, Windows mobile, and Xbox operating systems (thanks nin via Joystiq). They say the plan is to roll out an update codenamed "Threshold" in Spring 2015 that will bring the three systems closer in line. Microsoft has refused to comment on their report, calling it "rumors and speculation," but here is what they say MS has up its corporate sleeve:

From what I've heard, Threshold doesn't refer to a single Windows OS -- not even the expected, converged hybrid comprised of the Windows Phone OS and Windows RT. Instead, the codename refers to the wave of operating systems across Windows-based phones, devices and gaming consoles.

The Xbox One OS, Windows 8.x OS and Windows Phone 8 OS already share a common Windows NT core. As we've heard before, Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for all three of these platforms more similar.

But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft's various Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. These high-value activities include expression/documents (Office, and the coming "Remix" digital storytelling app, I'd think); decision making/task completion (Bing, I'd assume); IT management (Intune and Workplace Join, perhaps?) and "serious fun."

CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned this concept of high-value activities at back in July when he announced Microsoft's cross-company reorg to make the company more focused around its new "One Microsoft" mission.

Morning Patches

Op Ed

IncGamers - Steam's refund policy is restrictive, incoherent and in urgent need of change.
It’s a strangely Draconian stance from a company with an otherwise friendly, inclusive face. For the vast majority of purchased items, you need to actually use them for a bit before you can figure out whether they’re broken. I’d argue that the same is true of games. It takes a good few hours to figure out whether a title is a bugged piece of shit, just as it might take a while for stitching to come out of a pair of boots or a dishwasher to explode.

In Valve’s world, you should know before you play a game whether it’s going to function as advertised.

There are some ways to stay informed about a game’s release quality, it’s true. People can read about it on forums or through previews, for example. But the former is only an option if the game is already out, and the latter is subject to both the integrity of the journalist writing about the title and the ‘reach’ his or her publication may have.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A neighbor is getting her revenge for our recent roof job by having her own re-done. Okay, this probably isn't about us, as that would be pretty extravagant payback, but the constant nail pounding feels retributive at this point. Oddly, it seems more jarring from across the street than it was above my head when our work was being done, but that probably reflects my selfish perspective more that the way the sound travels.

R.I.P.: Original voice actor for Miles "Tails" Prower dies at 48.

Noisy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Boss 101.
Cubis Creatures
Story: "Frozen" Audience Saw Explicit Sex Scenes.
Science: Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal.
Images: First Look: The 'Archer' Season 5 Poster Art Is Here And It's Glorious. Thanks nin.
Media: The World Outside My Window - Time Lapse of Earth from the ISS (4K). Thanks HARDOCP.
2013 Movie Trailer Mashup. Thanks reddit.
Handmade Candy Cane Demonstration. Thanks nin.
Follow-up: SpaceX successfully launches its first attempt at geosynchronous orbit.
Porsche Carrera GT: 5 reasons the car Paul Walker died in is different.
The Funnies: Dear Toadington. Thanks reddit.



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